Saturday, 5 May 2012

Day 5: Chichen Itza

Today we went to see the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza (now an UNESCO site) the first of our soon to-be many (edit: many, many, many) ruins visits.

We took the ADO bus there at 9am which took around 2h and was way too expensive (360 pesos rtn), although we didn't spend much time researching options everyone said this was the only way public transport option. You have to pay two entrance fees into the park; the first is the local government one (120 pesos) and second is the federal government one (57 pesos). We thought it was a good idea to get there ourselves and not take a tour. I would advise against this and get a tour package as we paid pretty much the same price and didn’t have the benefit of understanding exactly what we were looking at, or a buffet lunch and cenote visit. Although, we did learn (by listening in to other guides) that if you clapped in certain places in front of the classic main pyramid, you can hear a sharp echo than closely resembles a bird cry… very cool acoustic trick!
If you clap just here, you will here a very unique and impressive echo!

The ruins are very impressive and from what we over heard from other visitor’s tour guides, the Mayans were an advanced culture during their time. It was incredibly hot in Chichen Itza with limited shade so bring plenty of water (and maybe food because the prices at the entrance are steep).  After a few hours we had a bit of heat exhaustion and were happy to get onto the well air conditioned bus, but before, we stopped off in the gift shop to purchase our “authentic” Mayan zodiac sign necklaces.

Giant iguanas all over the park and well hidden!

The group in the background is clapping

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